CSU on list for potential state-funded renovations - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

CSU on list for potential state-funded renovations

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

If approved by Georgia Legislature, Columbus State University could soon see a multi-million dollar expansion adding new facilities onto the science building, Lenoir Hall, as well as a new learning commons area onto the library on the main campus.

"We did a master plan a few years ago that identified that we had two critical needs on our campus," said John Lester, a spokesman for CSU. "One was upgrading classrooms, and two was adding more science lab spaces. So, we are adhering to that plan."

The Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia recently issued a list of capital projects for building and repairing classrooms in the system over the next four years. Lester said the University is excited to be on that list.  

"Chances of something happening without us being on that list are very slim," Lester said. "To me, that is recognition by the Board of Regents of what Columbus State is doing, and recognition of our master plan, and recognition that we are becoming the first choice for students, and we need better facilities to match that expectation."

The school would need about $ 17 million dollars to add a new laboratory to Lenoir Hall and a new learning commons onto the library. Lester said the university would also need an additional $2 million dollars to fill the new buildings with equipment and furniture. However, all this must be approved by the Georgia Legislature first.

"We have some of the nation's best facilities down here for art, theatre and music," Lester explained. "Our main campus needs some upgrades, and that is what we are working hard to do. We want to build lab spaces just for science students, and create this learning commons area in the library to give students more room for tutoring, student activities and more."

Lester said Columbus State University needs to raise private money, a total of $4 million dollars before the legislature starts meeting, and before the beginning of the calendar year.

"Four million dollars to get an approximately $20 million dollar project is a good investment," Lester said. "We are already $1 million dollars in, so we just have to keep going for our students."

Currently, Lester said the state has already distributed about $9 million to the University to renovate two of their most used classroom buildings on the main campus: Howard Hall and Arnold Hall.

"We will start renovating Howard Hall within the next few weeks," Lester said. "It is expected to be completed next fall. As soon as we are done renovating Howard Hall, we will work on Arnold Hall next year. We have an incredible community support here, and hopefully they are embracing the vision for Columbus State University. We want to continue to bring more students to our school. "

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